The Treehouse Blog


Northwest PA Expedition

by on Aug.16, 2009, under Camping

Chris and I went on a weekend expedition to northwest PA this past weekend.  The first stop was Parker Dam State Park on the way north.  Nothing spectacular here, but it is a nice state park about halfway on the trip.  Next was the Kinzua Dam at the end of the Allegheny Reservoir – A very impressive structure, with water thundering through the gates.  We then walked around the Seneca Pumped Storage Reservoir that is located on the mountain above the dam.  We didn’t notice any change in water levels while there, but the huge concrete bowl is pretty cool.

We camped at Chapman State Park, but didn’t really explore there at all.  It was a somewhat central location to branch out from, and had a nice modern campground.

Much of Saturday was spent at Oil Creek State Park and the surrounding area.  We toured a few of the sites there, but it seems that biking would be the best way to explore here.  There is a paved bike trail that follows the Oil Creek.  There are slight remains of the several oil boom towns in the area and many oil wells scattered throughout the park, and a few still seem to be active.  You can sometimes tell there is a nearby well by the smell.  Later we went to the Tionesta Dam and its lake, then hiked to some overlooks back around Kinzua Dam, and drove up into New York, circling the Allegheny Reservoir. Probably should have looked for a tax-free gas station in the Seneca Nation, but didn’t read about that until afterwards.  Did get to see the United Refinery in Warren, PA while driving by.  Pretty impressive looking plumbing!

I could easily spend a week or more exploring that area, but we did OK with the time we had.  Might have to plan something in that area again.

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Cowan’s Gap

by on Oct.16, 2006, under Camping

This past weekend I went camping at Cowan’s Gap with Doug and family. The somewhat colder than normal weather wasn’t much of an issue, with the furnace in Doug‘s pop-up camper keeping temperatures comfortable throughout the nights. Activities included walking up to the overlook, past the remnants of a landslide. I had been up there some years ago, during an excursion from Rhodes Grove. We also walked the Three Mile Trail, which also had some nice views, but was somewhat of a misnomer at about a mile and a half in length (“round trip” excuses notwithstanding). And I would be remiss not to mention a few fire-related incidents that lead (separately) to an eighth inch hole in my jacket, and some molten boot tread for Doug‘s father-in-law.

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